Politics & Policy

About Those Taxes

Yesterday, senatorial candidate Richard Blumenthal held a press conference in Stamford before his fundraiser with President Obama. Asked about his opposition to extending the Bush tax cuts for individuals making over $200,000, he replied:

A lot of the wealthiest people in this country agree with me that we should extend those tax cuts for middle-class families that are struggling and need more money in their pockets so they can help revive the economy. They agree with me that the Clinton levels of taxes were pretty good for our economy and pretty good for them and that the Bush trickle-down economics has been totally discredited.

But we won’t be at “Clinton levels of taxes”—at least not for long. In 2013, Obamacare and its attendant taxes kick in. Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute writes:

But the picture changes in 2013. Under the healthcare law adopted in March, the Medicare tax will rise that year, from 2.9 to 3.8 percent. Also, a new 3.8 percent tax, called the Unearned Income Medicare Contribution (UIMC), will be imposed on high-income taxpayers’ interest income and most of their pass-through business income that’s not subject to Medicare tax. So, under the president’s proposal, virtually all of top earners’ ordinary income will be taxed at 44.6 percent, starting in 2013. We’re not just going back to the Clinton-era rates of 40.8 and 43.7 percent.

Greg Mankiw notes that with state income taxes, the effective top marginal tax rate would be about 50 percent.

For its part, the McMahon campaign is hitting Blumenthal hard on taxes with a new ad that invokes — you guessed it — John Kennedy.


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